Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Segway P.U.M.A

Just in case you weren't quite sure if Segway was totally out of touch with reality, they have come out with a new prototype for a two-person commuter that seems to pretty much seal the deal.

Meet the P.U.M.A!

The P.U.M.A, which stands for Personal Urban Mobility & Accessibility, is the new brainchild of Segway and General Motors. The P.U.M.A is being designed to pick up where the Segway left off, with hopes that the end product will cause a shift in the way we think of transportation today.

Although I applaud them for trying to evolve their design so it can fit a wider audience, I'm afraid that the company still seems just as misguided as they did when they produced the Segway.

Championing new technologies and a sleek design sense, Segway seems to throw comfort and practicality to the side, assuming that everyone will love their device simply due to the sheer geek-i-tude of it, but they are wrong.

I know whenever I saw someone riding around on a Segway I would ask myself, "what if it rains", or "I wonder where the baby fits on that thing"? If I posed these question to the company I am sure their response would be something along the lines of, "we haven't thought of that", and its clear looking at this new prototype, that they still haven't.

Now I understand that when something is a prototype that means they have not finalized the design. However, because I do not have high hope that the design will get much better, here are just a few of the issues I see with this contraption, in list form (because I have a lot of them):

-Again, what if it rains, or snows for that matter? This contraption would be impractical in places where winter is long and cold, (that includes NYC)!

-It cannot exceed 35 miles per hour, meaning it cannot go on the highway.

-Even if it could go on the highway, who in their right mind would take it there? I mean, the crumple zone of that car is nothing but your face.

-Being that the companies target audience is anyone living in bustling urban areas, I wonder if they have thought about where everyone is going to plug this thing in? Since you can't lift it up and bring it indoors with you, I wonder if they intend to have everyone running extension chords out of their windows?

-Oh, and did I mention that it is really, really silly looking?

We shall see what the future has in store for this new fangled contraption and. Personally, I would prefer they just skip this step and get me to a flying car.

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